oneworld releases Swiss International Air Lines from its commitment to join the global alliance04 June 2004
oneworldTM has released Swiss International Air Lines from its commitment to join the global alliance.
The move follows an agreement between the airline and established oneworld partner British Airways to free SWISS, at its request, from the bilateral commercial agreement they signed in October 2003, which was a fundamental condition of it becoming a member of the global alliance.
All code-shares and bilateral relationships between SWISS and the other existing individual oneworld partners remain in place.
oneworld Managing Partner John McCulloch said: "This is unfortunate, but we have always been clear that oneworld will only recruit airlines where they add value both to our customers and to our existing partners. Without the full implementation of its bilateral agreement with British Airways, SWISS would substantially reduce the value BA derives from oneworld.
"SWISS has indicated that oneworld is still its preferred alliance and that it hopes to be in a position to seek membership again in the future, which we would welcome under terms suitable for all.
"Meantime, oneworld has four of Europe's leading airlines on board, working closely together and based at some of the continent's best hubs, so we are already strongly represented in this region.
"We continue to offer the world's most international network, serve more countries than any other alliance, market more alliance fare and sales products than all our rivals combined, and lead the field in customer service with developments like interline e-ticketing between all our partners, which is on track for full implementation by the end of this year. Furthermore, we believe we generate more value for our partners than any of our competitors achieve for their members."
With partners Aer Lingus, American Airlines, British Airways, Finnair and Iberia all increasing their services to Switzerland in recent months, oneworld remains committed to its customers in the country and intends to continue to develop its range of services and products in this market, providing the best connections between Zurich, Geneva and Basel to the 575 destinations on the alliance's worldwide network.
SWISS was originally voted on board as a member elect of oneworld on September 2003.